Squashapooloza

Last week a friend asked me what we’d been having for dinner recently.  “Squash” was my quick reply.  Between what the garden has been putting out and what friends have shared with us, we’ve had squash in some form or another for at least one meal a day since some time in July.  I keep snapping photos along the way, meaning to share recipes with you (and me, because I often use this blog as one of my many recipe storage sites), but I just haven’t gotten around to it, so here we are with one big squash post instead. Continue reading

Peach Pesto Feta Salad

The inspiration for this salad came from what I find to be the best inspiration – having a bunch of stuff in the fridge that needed to go and finding a way to use it all up. I had two white peaches that were on the verge of being over-ripe, a little bit of homemade pesto and the smallest little bit of Caromont Farm’s Feta (our new favorite cheese). I wanted a salad for dinner and thought about Jennifer Jo’s bruschetta, but all the tomatoes I had on hand could stand another day or two of sitting to further ripen (the result of picking them before the squirrels got them), so I poured myself a glass of wine and just started playing around in the kitchen.  Continue reading

Breathing room.

It was a glorious Memorial Day weekend here.  The weather was just simply beautiful and honeysuckle scented.  We had no where to be for three whole days – a first since a snowstorm I’m pretty sure. Pat went fishing with Cola, we had lots of girl time in the yard, gardening was done, back roads were driven in pursuit of local berries, which got jammed and frozen while the strawberries we picked from our yard garden got turned into strawberry ice cream that was shared at an impromptu dinner last night with Charles and Carol, our second dinner party with neighbors over the weekend.   There was a yard sale score in the shape of a pretty new covered cake stand – the sort that you can flip upside down and turn into a punch or trifle bowl in a pinch,  which I guess gets entered into both collections, bringing me to four punchbowls and eight cake stands. To celebrate, I baked a pound cake – this is my go-to recipe, one I tore out of Southern Living eons ago.  Just dump everything in your stand mixer and let it go. I love those sorts of recipes.  Baking the pound cake was also to use up some of the four dozen duck eggs that were dropped off this weekend, some of which might be involved in a pickling project. The pound cake was pretty divine served with the homemade, homegrown strawberry ice cream.   Ambitious to-do lists were made and accomplished this weekend, although the house didn’t really get cleaned like it needs.  Now that I’ve wrapped up my last PB&J Fund classes for the semester, I’ll have free afternoons again so maybe I can get that caught up. I did get laundry (mostly) caught up this weekend.  One shouldn’t be too ambitious about these things I don’t think.  All in all, it was a lazily productive weekend, the sort that had lots of impromptu pop-ins and visits, poison ivy, lazy yard drinks, beautiful evenings and the first lightening bug sightings of the season.  Hello summer.

 

What to do with tomatoes.

I have two gardens this year, the usual one in the yard as well as an ‘off-site’ one in the community gardens.  Both have tanked this year.  Squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs and deer have feasted mightily.  The deer took out both the taller netting we put up to stop them as well as kicking down the wooden fence on one side of the community garden. It’s become a free range buffet to those beasts. The on site garden hasn’t fared much better. Two gardens and all I have to show for it is a bowl full of cherry tomatoes and a handful of peppers.  Even basil, supposedly so easy to grow anyone can do it, has been devastated by bugs. The Malabar Spinach I planted has failed to take off because it hasn’t been hot enough. (It did not get out of the 80’s once here the entire month of August.)  Major garden fail on every level.  I’m considering not having a garden next year, because the amount of work, not to mention money I’ve dumped into harvesting practically nothing is beyond frustrating. Continue reading